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Alycia

I live in New York

I teach 3rd grade

I am an almost-digital-native and Ms. Frizzle wannabe

Rhonda

I live in New Jersey

I teach 6th grade literacy

I am passionate about my students becoming lifelong readers and writers

Beth

I live in Michigan

I teach 3rd grade

I am an enthusiastic teacher and techie, and a mom of three boys

Erin

I live in Michigan

I teach 2nd grade

I am a Tweet loving, technology integrating, mom of two with a passion for classroom design!

John

I live in New York

I teach writing for grades 5-8

I am a sharpener of minds who keeps students' thinking on point

Kriscia

I live in California

I teach 2nd and 3rd grades

I am an eager educator, on the hunt to find the brilliance in all

Brian

I live in North Carolina

I teach kindergarten

I am a kindergarten teacher who takes creating a fun, engaging classroom seriously

Meghan

I live in Alabama

I teach 3rd grade

I am an obsessive personality with a creative flair

Lindsey

I live in Illinois

I teach 4th grade

I am a theme-weaving, bargain-hunting, creative public educator

Shari

I live in Idaho

I teach kindergarten

I am a wife, mom, and home chef who loves cooking up ways to make learning fun in school

Christy

I live in New York

I teach K-5 technology

I am a proud supporter of American public education and a tech integrationist

Amanda

I live in Illinois

I teach 1st and 2nd grades

I am a jewelry-making, pet-loving, runner, crafter, and bilingual teacher

Allie

I live in Nevada

I teach kindergerten

I am a loving, enthusiastic teacher whose goal is to make learning exciting for every child

Becoming One With Data Walls in Your Classroom

By Rhonda Stewart on October 24, 2013
  • Grades: 3–5, 6–8

Have you heard the words, “DATA, DATA, DATA” in your sleep recently? In all of my 25+ years of teaching, never has there been such an emphasis placed upon data as I have seen in the last couple of years. Back in the Stone Age when I first started teaching, my thoughts regarding data were centered around grading tests and student work, transferring those grades to a grade book, and creating an honor roll. Fast forward to 2013, and my thinking has changed. Now, when data is mentioned, I think of external data (information from my New Jersey state assessments, i.e. NJASK) and internal data (information from class and grade/content specific assessments). I think of how data drives instruction not only for my students, but for the students in my district, state, and even the country. It affects the way instruction is delivered in the classroom.

 

Why Data Walls

My school district requires that at the end of each school year, teachers develop their own Professional Development Plan (PDP). This gives teachers an area of focus for their instruction. This year, I decided to step out of my comfort zone to research data walls and create my own in my classroom. I chose this as a means to truly assess my students’ strengths and weaknesses and to guide them towards success. Who knew I would be awakening the sleeping math teacher inside of me? I also looked at data walls as a way for the students to be accountable for their work, reflect upon their learning, and how they fit into the scheme of the classroom. After all, shouldn’t the students be held accountable for their learning?

I have to be honest, I am new at this. As teachers, we have always been collecting and analyzing data on our kids to notice trends in student learning, especially for common assessments and standardized tests. But we have yet to use it consistently in the classroom — that’s the new part.

 

 Pearls of Wisdom — If you are just starting with data walls, keep it basic. I attempted to create data charts for every assessment and activity in my classroom and soon became overwhelmed. I remembered my mantra of “keep it simple” and made myself breathe and refocus. Make a decision as to what you feel is most important to be displayed. Also remember to consider what type of graphs would be appropriate for the information you are presenting.

 

Choosing Topics for Data Walls

One of my biggest concerns as literacy teacher is the fidelity and integrity of student reading logs. I decided to create data walls about their work as readers. The data walls would reflect their growth as readers based upon their reading levels from running records and using the information from their at-home and in-school reading logs. And in this way, students get to see and reflect upon their work.

 

Data Wall Samples

In creating the class bar graphs, scatter, and dot plots, I had to call upon the spirit of math teachers past and present to assist me. It has been awhile since I have taught math and my students were a big help as well. It was great for them to see the connection between math and literacy in real life application. I hope these inspire you to plot your own data, but if you have new ideas, please share them here.

Bar Graph

Scatter Plot

 

Line Plot

 

Comments (102)

Data data data...I'm sick of data and that wall full of it, is full of it!

So, on these public charts, you post scores for all to see?

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